Frequently asked questions relating to Weymouth leasehold conveyancing
Having checked my lease I have discovered that there are only Seventy years remaining on my lease in Weymouth. I need to get lease extension but my landlord is can not be found. What options are available to me?
If you meet the appropriate requirements, under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 you can submit an application to the County Court for an order to dispense with the service of the initial notice. This will enable the lease to be lengthened by the Court. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have done all that could be expected to find the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent would be useful to try and locate and to produce a report to be accepted by the court as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a property lawyer both on devolving into the landlord’s disappearance and the vesting order request to the County Court covering Weymouth.
Expecting to complete next month on a leasehold property in Weymouth. Conveyancing lawyers inform me that they are sending me a report within the next couple of days. What should I be looking out for?
The report on title for your leasehold conveyancing in Weymouth should include some of the following:
- Defining your legal entitlements in relation to the communal areas in the block.E.G., does the lease include a right of way over an accessway or staircase?
I've recently bought a leasehold property in Weymouth. Do I have any liability for service charges relating to a period prior to my ownership?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous owner and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to be sure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I am employed by a long established estate agent office in Weymouth where we have witnessed a number of flat sales put at risk due to short leases. I have received conflicting advice from local Weymouth conveyancing firms. Please can you shed some light as to whether the owner of a flat can initiate the lease extension formalities for the buyer?
As long as the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to commence the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the buyer need not have to wait 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed before, or at the same time as completion of the disposal of the property.
Alternatively, it may be possible to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
What advice can you give us when it comes to appointing a Weymouth conveyancing practice to deal with our lease extension?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for your lease extension (regardless if they are a Weymouth conveyancing firm) it is most important that they be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We recommend that you talk with two or three firms including non Weymouth conveyancing practices prior to instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be of use:
- How familiar is the firm with lease extension legislation?
I inherited a split level flat in Weymouth, conveyancing having been completed half a dozen years ago. How much will my lease extension cost? Comparable flats in Weymouth with a long lease are worth £204,000. The average or mid-range amount of ground rent is £55 invoiced annually. The lease expires on 21st October 2091
You have 70 years left to run we estimate the premium for your lease extension to be between £10,500 and £12,000 plus plus your own and the landlord's "reasonable" professional fees.
The figure that we have given is a general guide to costs for extending a lease, but we cannot give you a more accurate figure in the absence of comprehensive investigations. Do not use the figures in tribunal or court proceedings. There may be other concerns that need to be considered and clearly you should be as accurate as possible in your negotiations. You should not take any other action based on this information before seeking the advice of a professional.